Liverpool transfer news, rumours, gossip and speculation including the latest developments on Alexis Mac Allister, Ryan Gravenberch and the build-up to the match against Leeds United
Greetings and welcome to the ECHO’s dedicated Liverpool FC news and transfers blog for Monday, April 17.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are back in Premier League action tonight when they take on relegation threatened Leeds United at Elland Road. Liverpool are looking to put their four match winless streak behind them in West Yorkshire.
The summer transfer window is subject of a lot of conversations and Liverpool are making their plans after pulling out of the race to sign Jude Bellingham as they look to rebuild their midfield following a tough season.
Brighton and Hove Albion star Alexis Mac Allister is linked with a move to Anfield and talks with the Argentine World Cup winners camp are set to begin very soon. Elsewhere, the Reds are reportedly keen on Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch – who is rated at £25 million.
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) April 17, 2023
Ryan Gravenberch ‘enthusiastic’ about Anfield switch
Bayern Munich’s Ryan Gravenberch is “enthusiastic” about the possibility of getting his career back on track at Liverpool, according to a new report.
The Dutch midfielder, who made the move to the German champions from Ajax last summer, has found game time tough to come by in Bavaria.
And now Sky Sports claim Anfield officials have made a strong pitch to the player’s camp, with the player’s representative, Rafaela Pimenta, having held talks with Liverpool twice in 2023.
The report adds that Gravenberch was on Liverpool’s shortlist of midfielders last summer.
How could Liverpool line-up this evening?
Well, that was a long eight days, wasn’t it?
Plenty has happened since Liverpool and Arsenal played out one of the games of the season at Anfield last Sunday. Though one thing that hasn’t changed since that thrilling afternoon on Merseyside is the Reds’ pressing need to put points on the board if they are to pull off another last-gasp, get-out-of-jail card to secure Champions League qualification.
It means with just nine Premier League games left and without a win since March 5, Jurgen Klopp will look to go as close to full strength as possible at Elland Road on Monday night.
That means between the sticks stays Alisson Becker, who, despite missing a handful of training sessions last week, will benefit from Liverpool’s late weekend kick-off and look to continue his ever-present record in the Premier League this season.
Like the Brazilian, Ibrahima Konate has also missed a handful of training sessions in the build-up to Monday’s game and therefore could find himself facing a late fitness test. However should the Frenchman be passed fit, he will once again marshall a back four including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson.
Klopp’s first real decision comes in the centre of the park where he will be made to weigh up whether Thiago Alcantara’s eye-catching display against the Premier League leaders was enough to catapult himself into contention for a first league start since early February. That would mean Curtis Jones would drop to the bench after two consecutive league starts.
Alongside Alcantara, who gets the nod on the left-hand side, will be Jordan Henderson and Fabinho will look to build on his impressive second half performance against Arsenal last weekend at the base of midfield.
In attack, Mohamed Salah keeps his place on the right, however, Cody Gakpo is replaced by Roberto Firmin down the middle. The Brazilian proved once again last weekend that he still holds all the qualities to dictate the tempo of matches, and will offer Klopp’s men some control as they look to extinguish a firey Elland Road crowd. Completing the front three is Darwin Nunez on the left, who replaces Diogo Jota.
My predicted XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Konate, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Nunez.
Everton and Liverpool set to be impacted by Premier League VAR recommendations
Both Everton and Liverpool are set to be impacted by changes to Video Assistant Referee and how it’s used in the Premier League.
According to a report in The Athletic, the Premier League is open to adding an extra eight cameras to improve the accuracy of the VAR’s Hawk-Eye system.
If approved, it would see four additional cameras added close to each penalty area to provide further clarity on offside and penalty decisions, which have caused many headlines across the division this season.
In October, Liverpool’s 3-2 defeat at Arsenal was overshadowed by controversy as Gabriel Martinelli’s opening goal appeared to have been infringed by an offside in the build-up.
However, Bukayo Saka, who was in an illegal position, was not visible to any of the five Hawk-Eye cameras that are used pitchside in the Premier League and are later referred to Stockley Park for further assessment during contentious decisions. As a result, the on-field referee Michael Oliver was left with no choice but to stick with his initial judgment and award the goal.
Liverpool team selector
Let us know what team you would like Jurgen Klopp to select against Leeds United this evening.
Glen Johnson: Liverpool need Mateo Kovacic
Speaking to Betfred, Johnson said:
“I do believe he would be a massive loss to Chelsea. He’s the sort of player that goes unnoticed because he does all the ugly stuff, but he does it really well and other players around him play better as he’s prepared to do the dirty work that needs doing.
“I’m not surprised that many of the top clubs are linked with him and right now, I believe that out of the three suitors mentioned that Liverpool would need him most. He’s got bags of energy, charges around breaking up play and with Liverpool’s midfielders getting older, he could come in and slot in there very well.”
Would you take Mateo Kovacic at Anfield, Reds?
Liverpool-linked Levi Colwill set to wait as he makes a decision on Chelsea future
Liverpool-linked defender Levi Colwill will reportedly wait for the appointment of Chelsea’s next permanent manager before deciding his future at Stamford Bridge.
The 20-year-old, who is currently spending the season on loan at high-flying Brighton & Hove Albion, was namechecked as a potential target this summer as Liverpool are tasked with futureproofing their defensive ranks during the off-season.
However, according to The Athletic, Colwill will not prematurely make a decision on his future in West London and will instead wait until the Londoners have sounded out a new full-time appointment.
Since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital acquired ownership of Chelsea in May 2022, the club have spent over £500m on transfers, which included defenders Kalidou Koulibaly, Benoit Badiashile, Wesley Fofana and Marc Cucurella.
Meanwhile, those who made their way to the Stamford Bridge first-team before Boehly’s arrival, including Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah, Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Cesar Azpilicueta, ensure any future manager will not be short of options ahead of the 2023-24 campaign.
The England youth international, who is also claimed to be high on Gareth Southgate’s radar, has two years remaining on his current deal in the capital.
However, a lack of first-team appearances has hindered the club’s hopes of extending his stay, as The Athletic’s report adds: “In 2021, Chelsea announced Colwill had signed a four-year deal.
“One nuance of that deal is that it included an option for another 12 months that will only be triggered if the defender plays a certain amount of games for the first team, though that number is believed to be very achievable.
“Chelsea held initial talks over a new deal earlier this year and want the highly rated England Under-21 international to sign a long contract like other squad members.
“More discussions are planned for the summer but Colwill is not going to rush the decision. For starters, though Chelsea rate him highly, he appreciates the new coach will have his own opinion and may have transfer targets that play in his position in mind.”
Ben Doak weakness spotted as Bobby Clark struggles in Everton clash
A late Max Wolltman goal ensured Liverpool earned a 1-1 draw with 10-man Everton in the Under-21s’ mini Merseyside derby on Sunday.
Stanley Mills gave Everton the lead early on before the hosts were reduced to 10 after left-back Ishe Samuels-Smith left Ben Doak in a heap with a poor challenge.
Woltman struck late on to give Barry Lewtas’s side a point in Premier League 2 and the ECHO was at Southport’s Haig Avenue stadium to analyse the game.
Stat attack: Liverpool travel to Leeds United
Liverpool haven’t lost any of their last five Premier League games at Elland Road, with their last defeat coming in 2000-2001 when Mark Viduka, of course, scored all four goals on a memorable afternoon for the Whites.
On the flip side, the Reds are winless in their last five games in all competitions since beating Manchester United on March 5 and have never gone six games without a win in Jurgen Klopp’s tenure.
Mohamed Salah has seven goals in five Premier League games against tonight’s opponents, including when he notched his 100th in the Premier League during last season’s visit to Elland Road. The Egyptian’s tally is the most of any Liverpool player against the Whites in the Premier League.
Brighton & Hove Albion ‘set’ price for Alexis Mac Allister
Brighton & Hove Albion would reportedly be willing to accept offers in the region of £60m for Liverpool target Alexis Mac Allister.
The Argentine has been heavily linked with a move away from the Amex this summer after a string of impressive performances at club level, as well as his stellar World Cup campaign in December, have seen his reputation soar as one of the Premier League’s brightest talents.
The Reds have been linked with the 24-year-old in recent days after it became public that their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund and England star Jude Bellingham would be put on halt this summer.
And according to Football Insider, the Liverpool and Manchester United target would demand a fee of £60m this summer.
Would you be satisfied with his addition, Reds?
A welcome return
Luis Diaz will return to the squad tonight for the match against Leeds and it’ll be the first time Reds fans have seen the Colombian in action since he injured his knee against Arsenal.
Jurgen Klopp confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Diaz would be included in his squad to take on the relegation strugglers at Elland Road.
It’s game day!
Good morning Liverpool fans and welcome back to our LIVE blog as we build-up to the match with Leeds on Monday Night Football tonight!
The Reds are back in action and are looking to put their four match winless streak behind them at Elland Road.
Stay tuned for all of the latest!